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Director of Administration

Job ID: 7368

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Category: Administrative Management


About Kirkland & Ellis

At Kirkland & Ellis, we are united in our ambition and drive to move forward. We share core values that help us achieve excellence: collaboration, talent empowerment, service, inclusion, respect and gratitude. Our people are our greatest asset, and we invest in the brightest talent and encourage a diversity of perspectives and strengths to create dynamic teams that operate at the pinnacle of their field. Our talented professionals show up every day knowing they will engage in meaningful work, continuous learning and professional development.
As one of the world’s leading law firms, we serve a broad range of clients with market-leading practices in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions; investment fund formation and alternative asset management; restructurings; high-stakes commercial and intellectual property litigation; and government, regulatory and internal investigations. We handle the most complicated and sophisticated legal matters because we don’t just meet industry standards, we create them. We bring innovation and entrepreneurialism to every engagement and, as a result, have long-standing client relationships with leading global corporations and financial sponsors. With 6,500 employees (including 3,500 lawyers) operating from 20 offices across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, we are one of the largest law firms in the world and a top financial performer.

Essential Job Functions


The Director of Administration is responsible for the efficient and effective administrative operation of the Chicago office and for ensuring delivery of exemplary client service from all staff functions. This individual will manage the planning, business, administrative, and daily operations of the Chicago office. This role develops strategic plans for the operational needs of the office, anticipates and provides support systems to meet time-sensitive attorney and client expectations, and acts as a responsible advocate for office concerns and needs. The Director of Administration is in a critical role always leading with positivity and driving engagement both locally and Firmwide.

The Director of Administration reports to the Senior Director of Administration with accountability to local stakeholders such as the Chicago Operations Committee and other various committee Chairs. In partnership with Global Support Leads, the individual manages a team that is directly responsible for specific areas of office support (Office Services, Mailroom Services, Guest Services, Digital Services, Practice Assistant Services). This role also collaborates closely with Firmwide department functional leaders, including IT, Finance, HR, LRD, Risk, and Paralegal Services.

This individual is expected to be an exceptional communicator and relationship builder as they will collaborate frequently with senior leaders across Firm offices.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS (This list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented and changed as necessary.)

Strategic Leadership

This role provides overall strategic and tactical leadership to ensure all office functions and staff are aligned in providing seamless client service. The individual provides leadership in addressing current and anticipated needs by developing and deploying effective solutions in concert with overall Firm objectives. 

Operational Leadership

This role is responsible for creating a culture of operational excellence and accountability in managing business processes and activities in support of internal and external clients.  

Financial Accountability

The Director develops staffing plans and budgets for the office consistent with Firm objectives and operational requirements and ensures monthly operational expense performance meet budgets. The individual should contribute to cost-effective management of the office.

Communication Leadership

The Director conducts periodic office meetings to ensure all staff is kept informed of significant office and Firmwide information and conducts meetings with various Committees, as well as Partners and Associates as appropriate. This individual will meet regularly with key staff to communicate business goals and objectives.

Performance Management

The Director provides direction to the Office Management Team through effective goal setting, coaching, reviews, and development planning.

Space Planning

The Director is responsible for recommendations for space, facilities and equipment needs; provides leadership and expertise in all space planning projects; coordinates with stakeholders to promote client service objectives and ensures minimal disruption to client service operations.

Qualifications & Requirements

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Solid business acumen, strong operational skills, and a track record for delivering results; 
  • Significant experience partnering with Human Resources;
  • Strong leadership experience developing a management team and demonstrated staff and project management skills; 
  • Proven success in building trust-based relationships  with partners and staff at all levels;
  • Experience in effectively leading change;
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills;
  • A mentality of operational excellence, client service and cost management. 

The ideal candidate will be:

  • Able to balance competing priorities in a time-sensitive environment;
  • Team-oriented, proactive and able to change direction quickly to meet the dynamic needs of the office and the Firm as well as its clients.  

Work Experience & Education

  • Minimum of 10 years of management experience in a legal or professional services organization is required.
  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in Kirkland & Ellis LLP.  To complete an application and submit your resume, please click "Apply Now."

Equal Employment Opportunity

All employment decisions, including the recruiting, hiring, placement, training availability, promotion, compensation, evaluation, disciplinary actions, and termination of employment (if necessary) are made without regard to the employee’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy or childbirth, personal appearance, family responsibilities, sexual orientation or preference, gender identity, political affiliation, source of income, place of residence, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, marital status, military veteran status, unfavorable discharge from military service, physical or mental disability, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Closing Statement

The job postings and recruiting mailbox are for candidates only. If you are a recruiter, search firm or employment agency, and do not have a signed contract with Kirkland & Ellis LLP ("K&E") and have not been asked specifically to submit candidates, you will not be compensated in any way for your referral of a candidate even if K&E hires the candidate. Direct contact with K&E employees in an attempt to present candidates is inappropriate and will be a factor in determining any future professional relationship with the Firm.